Longshot Midnight Aria and jockey Jesse Campbell took the 154th running of the Queen's Plate at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario.
With rain falling over the track, Midnight Aria set the early pace and hung off a late-charging morning-line favorite Up With the Birds to take the 10 furlong race.
CBC Sports' Tim Wharnsby passed along the win and some interesting tidbits:
Wire-to-wire #QP2013 winner was 16-1 longshot Midnight Aria, ridden by Jesse, trained by Nicholas Gonzalez, owned by Tucci Stables.— Tim Wharnsby (@WharnsbyCBC) July 7, 2013
With the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown in the bag, Midnight Aria and trainer Nick Gonzalez will now undoubtedly turn their attention to trying and capture the second leg of the Triple Crown, which is the Prince of Wales Stakes on July 30.
Order of Finish
Order of finish and payouts according to WoodbineEntertainment.com.
|1||Midnight Aria||Jesse Campbell ||Nick Gonzalez ||1|
|2||Up With the Bird||
Eurico Rosa da Silva ||Malcolm Pierce ||7|
|3||Dynamic Sky||Joel Rosario||Mark Casse ||2|
|4||Spring in the Air||Gary Boulanger||Mark Casse||4|
|5||Jagger M||Shaun Bridgmohan||Mark Casse||3|
|6||His Race To Win||John Velazquez||Malcolm Pierce||11|
|7||Pyrite Mountain||Luis Contreras||Mark Frostad||10|
|8||Nipissing||Steve Bahen||Rachel Halden||9|
|9||Kaigun||Justin Stein||Mark Casse||6|
|10||River Seven||Todd Kabel||Nick Gonzalez||12|
|11||Rackman||Jim McAleney||Nick Nosowenko||8|
|7-Up With the Birds||$3.90||$2.80|
|Base||Bet||Combo||Payout||Pays to -|
This was an impressive win for Midnight Aria, not just because of the way he ran the race, but considering where he came from.
Racing correspondent for The Buffalo News Gene Kershner helps explain:
Midnight Aria claimed for $35K at Gulfstream this winter just cashed a $600k check. #QP2013— Gene Kershner (@EquiSpace) July 7, 2013
That's not a bad return on investment for owner Tucci Stables. It also helps set up for an especially euphoric celebration of victory.
Triple Dead Heat shared this Vine from the winner's circle:
The rain made for a fast track, and with Midnight Aria being a speed horse, the conditions played right into his strengths.
Despite a little bumping at the start, Midnight Aria was strong right out of the gate. Kaigun was keeping the leader close, but couldn't make a real run, and soon was fading back.
Heading around the final turn, Midnight Aria looked like he was getting gassed, and the pack closed in. It looked like we were headed for a new leader. However, jockey Campbell asked his horse for a little more, and he got it.
As the horses hit the home stretch, Midnight Aria began to pull away. Only one horse showed the closing speed to make a run at him.
The Malcolm Pierce-trained Up With the Birds made a strong charge and got to within half of a length, but Midnight Aria just wouldn't quit.
It all made for an exciting race and certainly set the stage for what should be a fantastic Prince of Wales Stakes.